How can anyone take religion seriously?
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12-02-2013, 10:18 AM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
Since we were discussing "Why god made so many idiots", and other religions were mentioned, I thought it might be timely to resurrect this old thread, just in case PJ missed it.

Happy reading, PJ!
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12-02-2013, 01:32 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013 01:37 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 07:00 PM)Zat Wrote:  Human history has 'invented' so many religions, so different from each other, that it should be obvious for anyone that the entire concept of religion is man-made, evolved out of ignorance.

I understand the historical necessity of inventing religions, otherwise they would not have been invented. Each one served a purpose, at the time it was invented, in the context it was invented. Sometimes they served a social function, sometimes they served the ruling class, sometimes both.

They were all different and they all claimed to be the "right" belief. The masses usually believed in them because science was in its infancy and the scientific method for acquiring knowledge was not known and understood by most people.

One more reason for religion's 'popularity': very few people can accept that human beings may not be equipped to understand deep reality (quantum physics, Big Bang, evolution of life, etc.) and the concept of infinity, so they have to make it up for comfort's sake.

Add to it the fear of death and then you are home free.

Here is a list of just the major religions (practiced today), from Wikipedia.

See which of them appeals to you?

1 Abrahamic religions
1.1 Bábism
1.2 Bahá'í Faith
1.3 Christianity
1.3.1 Other groups
1.4 Gnosticism
1.5 Islam
1.6 Judaism
1.7 Rastafari movement
1.8 Mandaeans and Sabians
1.9 Samaritanism
1.10 Unitarian Universalism
2 Indian religions
2.1 Ayyavazhi
2.2 Bhakti Movement
2.3 Buddhism
2.4 Din-i-Ilahi
2.5 Hinduism
2.6 Jainism
2.7 Sikhism
3 Iranian religions
3.1 Manichaeism
3.2 Mazdakism
3.3 Mithraism
3.4 Yazdânism
3.5 Zoroastrianism
4 East Asian religions
4.1 Confucianism
4.2 Shinto
4.3 Taoism
4.4 Other
5 African diasporic religions
6 Indigenous traditional religions
6.1 African
6.2 American
6.3 Eurasian
6.4 Oceania/Pacific
6.4.1 Cargo cults
7 Historical polytheism
7.1 Ancient Near Eastern
7.2 Indo-European
7.3 Hellenistic
8 Mysticism and Occult
8.1 Esotericism and mysticism
8.2 Occult and magic
9 Neopaganism
9.1 Syncretic
9.2 Ethnic
10 New religious movements
10.1 Creativity
10.2 New Thought
10.3 Shinshukyo
11 Left-hand path religions
12 Fictional religions
13 Parody or mock religions
14 Others
Yes, but please explain how evolution based on survival, error, will to exist etc should provide social harmony rather than exploitation by,perhaps? ...........an evil gene?
Or, conversely, an evolving god gene would have made for all those quoted religions. So on this hypothesis of yours, evolution must be blamed for what it generated, unless a God of some other form can be considered, and you don't seem to consider this.
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12-02-2013, 01:36 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(24-01-2012 08:09 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(24-01-2012 07:48 PM)aurora2020 Wrote:  Your name and avatar are somehow familiar Huh

you are correct -- I used to be called Zatamon in an earlier incarnation.

Back to the topic:

The really funny thing is that every single believer, in every one of those religions in that long list in the OP, is convinced that all the rest of them are deluded, or worse.

Guess which of them is right? (all of them! Big Grin)

It may appear that I am ‘crusading’ against religion.

This appearance is false.

I treat religion as a symptom of something much deeper and much more harmful, and it has many manifestations in human cultures.

That something is uncritical thinking.

The kind of mindset that is easy to delude to believe in almost anything.

The same mindset that believes:

- That Capitalism and market economies are not self-destructive
- That it is OK to attack other countries on fraudulent excuses
- That we "support our troops" by not bringing them home
- That torture is a useful practice to serve our country
- That holding prisoners indefinitely, without trial and defense is just fine
- That insane levels of consumption does not harm the planet we live on
- That we can borrow our way out of debt
- That China will forever prop up western ambitions
- That we need to believe in our exploiters
- That we need to vote against our self interest, every time
- That some animals (Orwell’s pigs) are naturally superior to the rest of us.
- That "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH"

I am sure I missed a few but that is enough to start with.

Now I know that not all religious people believe in ALL of these and there are many who do not believe in ANY at all, however, the mindset that believes in a concept as obviously silly as religion is, is in danger of believing any or all of the others.

As far as being fascinated by the cultural aspects of religion is concerned, there is no harm in that, for the right anthropological mind it can be truly fascinating.

Just as many psychiatrists are fascinated with the various mental problems they study and many doctors can be truly fascinated with interesting diseases, I can see the fascination from a strictly clinical point of view.

However, gullibility and lack of critical thinking is so widespread in our species that every time I see, read or hear apologies, justification and promotion of religious ideas, a HUGE RED FLAG goes up in my mind and makes me try to inject big-picture perspective into the discussion.

Many people think that religion is harmless, even though it is irrational, without realizing that it is one of the the most visible symptoms of the human disease: gullibility and lack of critical thinking.

This is a battle over human minds, between forces trying to enslave them and forces trying to liberate them.

It is a battle to the end (seems to be near now) -- the enslavers and their apologists on the backswing at the moment.

In the fifties to seventies, we had a brief period when rational humanity and common sense was making progress in the western world: social justice seemed to have a real chance -- now we are being pushed back, relentlessly, into the middle ages of superstition and brutality.
Yep. This sums it up so well. I was just saying to my sister the other night how odd it is that atheism seems to draw people more to peace and good works, while religion (i.e. Christianity) usually justifies so many atrocities such as war and almost every preacher I have listened to shrugs off the climate change issue. I am saying it seems odd, because I am so new to... atheism. It's so new I am still surprised I am saying it.
Bottom line: Religion is scary.
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12-02-2013, 01:39 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 01:32 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Yes, but please explain how evolution based on survival, error, will to exist etc should provide social harmony rather than exploitation by,perhaps? ...........an evil gene?
Mr Woof, I tried to suggest an answer to bemore before on another thread:

=========================

"Humanity, as a species, is in an evolutionary transition position between the rules of the jungle and the rules of the family.

It is a mixed state where sometime one aspect of our character, sometime the other, has the upper hand.

However, it is the specimen among us, who are closer to the jungle, who are running the show for obvious reasons.

Power attracts those who are more aggressive, more ruthless, more dominant amongst us. Once they achieve power, they very seldom use it to benefit the common good -- they like to fashion their world on the
model of feudalist allegiances and tribal warfare.

Whatever democratic co-operation the rest of us manages to achieve is done in spite of them, in an uneasy balance. That is the source of the constant fighting over wealth and power we witness around us daily.

Once in a rare while men of vision and conscience get into position of power and then we see major advances in social justice (like in post-warCanada for example) which will last a decade or two, after which the
other side goes on a counter-offensive and starts clawing back all the advances that had been achieved before.

This is the situation now, after the neo-con revolution swept the western world and the neo-colonialism (a.k.a. globalization) created new slaves for the empire."
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12-02-2013, 01:48 PM (This post was last modified: 12-02-2013 01:53 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 01:39 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(12-02-2013 01:32 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  Yes, but please explain how evolution based on survival, error, will to exist etc should provide social harmony rather than exploitation by,perhaps? ...........an evil gene?
Mr Woof, I tried to suggest an answer to bemore before on another thread:

=========================

"Humanity, as a species, is in an evolutionary transition position between the rules of the jungle and the rules of the family.

It is a mixed state where sometime one aspect of our character, sometime the other, has the upper hand.

However, it is the specimen among us, who are closer to the jungle, who are running the show for obvious reasons.

Power attracts those who are more aggressive, more ruthless, more dominant amongst us. Once they achieve power, they very seldom use it to benefit the common good -- they like to fashion their world on the
model of feudalist allegiances and tribal warfare.

Whatever democratic co-operation the rest of us manages to achieve is done in spite of them, in an uneasy balance. That is the source of the constant fighting over wealth and power we witness around us daily.

Once in a rare while men of vision and conscience get into position of power and then we see major advances in social justice (like in post-warCanada for example) which will last a decade or two, after which the
other side goes on a counter-offensive and starts clawing back all the advances that had been achieved before.

This is the situation now, after the neo-con revolution swept the western world and the neo-colonialism (a.k.a. globalization) created new slaves for the empire."
Like the vast majority of people here you are rigidly locked into Darwinian social theories and refuse to look beyond this position.
Whatever I say, even while holding such views as yours, with reservations, I will be howled down by the so called experts.

Simply wasting my time.


Apologies: 'Like' wasn't intended, an error, I have given up that trite silliness, along with emoticons, and made my last rep point, simply because I was moved to do so.
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12-02-2013, 01:51 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 01:48 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  
(12-02-2013 01:39 PM)Zat Wrote:  Mr Woof, I tried to suggest an answer to bemore before on another thread:

=========================

"Humanity, as a species, is in an evolutionary transition position between the rules of the jungle and the rules of the family.

It is a mixed state where sometime one aspect of our character, sometime the other, has the upper hand.

However, it is the specimen among us, who are closer to the jungle, who are running the show for obvious reasons.

Power attracts those who are more aggressive, more ruthless, more dominant amongst us. Once they achieve power, they very seldom use it to benefit the common good -- they like to fashion their world on the
model of feudalist allegiances and tribal warfare.

Whatever democratic co-operation the rest of us manages to achieve is done in spite of them, in an uneasy balance. That is the source of the constant fighting over wealth and power we witness around us daily.

Once in a rare while men of vision and conscience get into position of power and then we see major advances in social justice (like in post-warCanada for example) which will last a decade or two, after which the
other side goes on a counter-offensive and starts clawing back all the advances that had been achieved before.

This is the situation now, after the neo-con revolution swept the western world and the neo-colonialism (a.k.a. globalization) created new slaves for the empire."
Like the vast majority of people here you are rigidly locked into Darwinian social theories and refuse to look beyond this position.
Whatever I say, even while holding such views as your, with reservations, I will be howled down by the so called experts.

Simply wasting my time.

What is a Darwinian social theory? Certainly Darwin never proposed one.

Please clarify.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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12-02-2013, 01:53 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
...
Mr. Woof, I am not locked into anything, let alone rigidly.

I have an open mind and am willing to consider reasonable suggestions contrary to mine.

Would you care to clarify?
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12-02-2013, 02:04 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 01:53 PM)Zat Wrote:  ...
Mr. Woof, I am not locked into anything, let alone rigidly.

I have an open mind and am willing to consider reasonable suggestions contrary to mine.

Would you care to clarify?
I would suggest that open mindedness may even entail looking at ideas essentially repugnant to you.
I realise I come across as a bit of a rat bag to many.
Reasonable suggestions, to me, are quite open, and unacceptable to most.
I like to ponder over things, rather than impress others with 'hard facts' .
The fact that most disagree does not mean that I am quintessentially wrong.
I try to opine, rather than assert.


Chas: Not referring to Darwin. He had enough on his plate, appeasing his wife.
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12-02-2013, 02:06 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 02:04 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  I would suggest that open mindedness may even entail looking at ideas essentially repugnant to you.
...
Could you tell me what repugnant ideas you are referring to, in the context of this exchange?
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12-02-2013, 02:26 PM
RE: How can anyone take religion seriously?
(12-02-2013 02:06 PM)Zat Wrote:  
(12-02-2013 02:04 PM)Mr Woof Wrote:  I would suggest that open mindedness may even entail looking at ideas essentially repugnant to you.
...
Could you tell me what repugnant ideas you are referring to, in the context of this exchange?
Essentially I feel that all religions may contain smidgens of inexplicable truths much of which have been debased by theologians in their egocentricity.This is simply an intuitive feeling and one that I feel may transcend accrued scientific method. Just my opinion...................
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